Where your car is made and where the company that made it is headquartered are often two very different addresses.
What constitutes an American car is routinely up for debate, but the core of that battle comes down to minutiae. A car, truck, van or SUV/crossover is the sum of its parts, and those parts all come from somewhere. How "American" a car is depends largely on how many of those parts are made in the U.S.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration freely admits there's no such thing as a 100% American car and notes that one of its most American vehicles, the 60% U.S.-produced GM (GM) - Get General Motors Company (GM) Report Chevrolet Spark takes 21% of its parts from South Korea and is assembled there as well. Then again, there are cars such as the BMW X3 that are assembled right here in the U.S. (South Carolina, specifically), but only get 10% of their parts from this country.
In fact, it's getting very difficult to use words like "American," "Japanese," "Korean" or "German" to describe an automobile. A car's heritage my lie in those countries, but companies the world over build their vehicles without boundaries. Here in the U.S. alone, we have Nissans and Volkwagens built in Tennessee, Subarus built in Indiana, Toyotas (TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corp. Sponsored ADR Report from Texas and Kentucky, Kias from Georgia and Hondas (HMC) - Get Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Sponsored ADR Report , Hyundais and Mercedes-Benz from Alabama.
As a result, there are very few cars that are made where you think they are. Sure, you can still count on Jeep Wranglers from Toledo, Ohio, or Ford (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report F-150s from Dearborn, Mich., but can you look at the car in your driveway or at your curb and know for a fact where it was built? The folks at vehicle pricing and analysis site Kelley Blue Book do this for a living and often can't place where a car came from, never mind the parts in it. However, with their help, we found 20 vehicles whose company names don't make it entirely clear where they're assembled. You can guess, but prepare to be wrong more often than you're right:
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.